Your Guide to Car Loan Pre-Approvals

So, you’re dreaming of a new car.

Do you start by going out of your way to drive by the dealership?  Maybe you get online and start picking out colors and features.  Before you know it, you are already imagining the silence third-row seating could bring to your family.

So you go to the dealership, or multiple dealerships.  You test drive that one over there in red, the one with the great gas mileage, and the one that probably goes a bit too fast.  By the time you’ve found your perfect car, you’re tired.

Now you get to the most important part of buying a car: financing.  Why wait until now to begin the discussion around financing?

A car loan pre-approval allows you to work with your financial institution to secure your financing before you start shopping.  That means no more relying on dealer financing, no giving in to impulse buying, and no more stress.


Quote taken from article - " more relying on delaer financing, no giving in to impulse buying, and no more stress.


Shop with the Confidence of a Cash Buyer!


The Benefits of a Car Loan Pre-Approval

If you’re picturing your new vehicle and a stress-free shopping experience – you’re getting the idea.

Outside of the confidence you get from being a cash buyer, getting pre-approved comes with multiple benefits.  Here are a few others…

  • A Car Loan that Fits Your Budget
    • You’ll sit down with a representative to discuss your current budget and financial goals.  The representative can help you look at different loan amounts and lengths to find the option that fits you.
  • Simplify Pricing Negotiations
    • By starting your shopping with your financing already approved, the only thing you’ll need to discuss is the price of the vehicle.  Instead of mulling over multiple financing packages and/or rates combined with trips to the “back office,” you can focus on what matters to you, the final price of the vehicle.
  • Save Money
    • Credit unions tend to have lower interest rates than you can find at a dealership.  Because of the lower rates, you could save money every month on the same vehicle.  Be sure to check with your local financial institution first!
  • Shop Where You Want
    • By getting a pre-approval before doing your car shopping, you open up your options of dealerships.  Don’t get stuck having to buy from one lot… get a pre-approval and then go find that perfect car, wherever it may be.


How Can You Get a Car Loan Pre-Approval?

Cartoon Image of Car Loan Documents

What do I need?

If you decide to get your pre-approval through UICCU, all you need is your ID.  How easy is that?

With your ID, we can run your credit report and give a preliminary approval amount.  Once you find your dream car, just bring in your Bill of Sale, and we’ll finalize the loan for you.

If you have a specific amount in mind or you’ve already picked out your car, you can also bring in the following documents to help us get your loan approved on the spot:

  • Proof of Income
  • Bill of Sale for Vehicle
  • Vehicle VIN
  • Current Mileage on the Vehicle

The required documents may change depending on where you decide to get the pre-approval.  To save some time we recommend calling the institution before going in to ensure you have everything.

Where do I go?

You can stop into your local financial institution to get your pre-approval.  At UICCU, we offer pre approvals in all of our branches, online, and by phone.


How Long Does it Take?

The time required for a car loan pre-approval depends on each applicants’ situation.  We’re happy to assist with any questions and walk you through any questions you may have during the process.

In general, we find the following time ranges to be about the average across the various ways to apply.

In Branch: 15-30 minutes

Phone: 15-30 minutes

Online: 5-10 minutes


Now You’re Ready to Find Your Dream Car!

Learn more about our car loans and pre-approvals by visiting our Auto Loans page.

If you’re ready to get started with your pre-approval, visit one of our branches, give us a call, or apply online from the comfort of your home.  We look forward to working with you!


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